4th IMCWP, Contribution of Philippine Communist Party (PKP- 1930)

6/21/02 11:41 AM
  • Philippines, Philippines Communist Party [PKP - 1930] 4th IMCWP En Asia Communist and workers' parties

Philippine CP (PKP - 1930), Contribution to the Athens
Meeting 21J2002
From: Philippine Communist Party (PKP- 1930), Tue, 27 Jun

(SGD.) PEDRO P. BAGUISA - General Secretary
Philippine Communist Party (PKP-1930)


I. The Global Economic Crisis Before September 11:

Economic globalization, being propelled by the scientific
and technological revolution, resulted to global economic
crisis occurring even before the September 11 terrorist
attacks in USA.

In July of 1997, the first major crisis of the globalized
neo-liberal world erupted when the "tigers"
fell to pieces. In August of 1998 came the so-called major
Russian crisis. In January of 1999, only five months
later, the Brazilian crisis broke out. Another show window
of globalization in Latin America is the debt-crippled
Argentina. This nation with a foreign debt amounting to U.
S. $132 billion, suffered from severe bankruptcy and the
ruling class lost the capacity to govern in December 2001.
One can imagine how this country survived by changing five
presidents in twelve days.

For many countries of the Third World, globalization was
first imposed through the infamous structural adjustment
programs of the IMF-World Bank which placed them in a
regimen of liberalization, deregulation, and privatization
to shift development financing from the state sector to the
private sector. Such structural adjustment programs
conveniently attune economies of poorer countries to

On September 10, just a day before the terrorist attacks in
New York and Washington, the IMF analyzed that the
percentage of annual growth of the United States decreased
from 3.2% to 1.5%; Japan's growth decreased from 1.8% to
0.2%; the Eurozone from 3.4% to 1.9% and the percentage of
annual growth of the total world economy decreased from
4.2% to 2.7%

It can be recalled that the crisis began in the United
States. The trade deficit had an enormous growth from
$264.9 billion in 1999 to $364.4 billion in 2000.
Unemployment rose from 3.9% in 2000 to 4.9% in August 2001
and 5.4% in November 2001.

In short, neo-liberalism or neo-liberal globalization
resulted to world economic crisis. It was not a
consequence of the September 11 terrorist attacks in New
York and Washington. President Bush is aware of this. On
September 4, 2001 President Bush declared before a meeting
of trade union groups, that "I am aware of the problems
being faced today by the families of workers affected by
the economic crisis, but I am convinced that the economy
will get back on its feet."

II. The Growing Militarization After September 11:

In order for the imperialists to finally implement their
economic domination, from lessons in the past, a military
component is imperative.

In their quest for world hegemony, former US Secretary of
State, Madelaine Albright once said that: "If we have to
use force, it is because we are America! We are the
indispensable nation. We stand tall. We see further into
the future."

The hegemonic aggression of the United States was
intensified after the September 11th terrorist attacks. On
October 7, 2001, the U. S. Administration started the war
against Afghanistan under the slogan "global war against
terrorism". To get the support of other countries for this
campaign, President Bush said: "If you're not with us, you
are with the terrorists."

Under such threat, in the international conference
sponsored by World Bank and the United Nations in Tokyo,
Japan last January 21, they were able to gather $4.5
billion to help for the recovery of Afghanistan, after the
military aggression of USA killing tens of thousands
innocent civilians, including women and children.

Acting more than a poodle, the Arroyo administration was
among the first to pledge not only the P11 million or
$200,000 to the UN Emergency Donor Alert last January, but
also to offer the Philippines to be lauching pad for the US
military intervention to Afghanistan.

Vice-President Dick Cheney has threatened to expand US
aggression to "thirty to forty countries."

Israel has also used the "war on terrorism" to intensify
repression against the Palestinian people in the occupied
territories, and there are danger signals of direct US
intervention in Colombia, and lately failed a coup d'etat
against Hugo Chavez in neighboring Venezuela. In this
case, the US Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) and its
local cohorts underestimated the might of united people and
heroic elements of the military that restored Chavez back
to the Palace.

III. US Military Intervention in the Philippines:

The Philippines became the second laboratory of the U. S.
"global war against terrorism", despite their "long close
relationship"." Under the mantle of Balikatan Kalayaan
Agila 02-1, a joint RP-US military exercises is now in
operation in the Philippines with live ammunition being
used against live targets, the Abu Sayyaf Group.

The American troops are part of the Joint Task Force 510, a
crisis response team of the US Special Operations
Command-Pacific(SOCPAC). This team is sent to various
trouble spots in the world.

According to East Asia Strategy Report at the US Congress:
"This report reaffirms our commitment to maintain a stable
forward presence in the region, at the existing level of
about 100,000 troops, for the foreseeable future." "If the
American presence in Asia were removed... our ability to
affect the course of events would be constrained, our
markets and our interests would be jeopardized."

Important to mention is the fact that America has great
economic interests in Mindanao. Big US corporations are
settled there for the great natural resources, like
minerals, pineapple and banana plantations, and oil
deposits, that they can explore. Second, the U. S. want to
establish a training base in Mindanao so as to easily gain
a foothold in the most volatile part of the country as well
as in the region of Southeast Asia.

With the real objectives mentioned above, some 660 military
troops arrived in the country since December 2001. As the
joint military exercises are in progress, the number of US
troops has been doubled, despite its gross violation to
Philippine Constitution.

First, it is clearly stated in the Philippine Constitution
that "...foreign military bases, troops or facilities shall
not be allowed in the Philippines except under a treaty
duly concurred in by the Senate." Balikatan 02-1 has no
Senate concurrence, therefore it is unconstitutional.

Secondly, the UN resolution against international terrorism
as an added reason to justify the deployment of American
troops in the war against Abu Sayyaf is questionable. The
characterization and listing of an organization like Abu
Sayyaf as a terrorist group by the US alone can not be
binding on the UN and the Philippines as a member state.

Thirdly, if we are to follow the unilateral
characterization and listing by the US regarding a
particular terrorist organization, then we are adopting a
foreign policy of the US as our own, which in the end
violates the mandate under Section 7 Article II of the
Constitution that we "shall pursue an independent foreign

Fourth, the provision in the 1951 RP-US Mutual Defense
Treaty (MDT) specifying that both the Philippines and the
US "separately and jointly by self-help and mutual aid will
maintain and develop their individual and collective
capacity to resist armed attack," can not also be used as
legal basis for the anti-terrorism exercises.

The military exercises contemplated by the Visiting Forces
Agreement (VFA) are those directed against potential
foreign enemies --- and not local rebels or bandits, like
the Abu Sayyaf.

And to complete the course, another arrangement is being
hatched by the US government and the more than a puppet
Arroyo regime ---the Mutual Logistic Support Agreement
(MLSA), which will allow basing of troops and storing
weapons in the country.

Thus, the presence of US military troops in the Philippines
is not just for military training exercises, but an
intervention to the internal affairs of the country.


IV. The Unsustainable Temporary Recovery of Capitalism
After September 11:

The world capitalist society were entering into an entirely
new phase. Vast wealth are accumulated through speculative
operations including currencies and stocks and without any
relation to actual production. Such situation is

The US economy, which suffered its first recession in a
decade last year, rebounded at an annual rate of 5.6
percent in this year's first quarter. US unemployment,
currently at an eight-year high of 6 percent, is expected
to peak around 6.5 percent later this summer before
starting to decline. The Central Bank, after pushing
interest rates to a 40-year low of 1.75 percent last year
to fight the recession and the shocks from 9/11 terrorist
attacks, has left rates unchanged so far this year.

Even the Federal Reserve chairman, Alan Greenspan warned
that America's economic prospects were looking brighter,
but cautioned that economic growth in the coming months
will slow.

Japan's economy marked its strongest growth in two years,
growing 1.4% in the first quarter to pull out of a
persistent contraction that had dragged on for nine months.
Household consumption rose to 1.6%. Export grew to 6.4%,
on the back of recovery in the US and the rest of Asia.
For fiscal year 2001, which ended in March, the Japanese
economy shrank 1.3%, falling short to government's target
to hold contraction to 1%.

However, according even from the report of OECD in its
24-page study entitled "Economic Consequences of
Terrorism", that higher military spending, stricter border
controls --- Fight vs terror slows growth. This means that
the capitalists' economic recovery is temporary and

V. Temporary Economic Recovery of the Philippines:

President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo said the Philippines has
overcome instability, predicting the Gross Domestic Product
(GDP) growth to speed up to 4.0 to 4.5 percent in 2002.

"Our country is back on the track of sustainable
development," the President told at the 2001 Economic
Performance briefing. Mrs. Arroyo pointed out that she had
reversed the country's fortune since taking office. "The
resilience shown by the economy this year is remarkable.
We achieved respectable economic growth in the midst of a
global economy still reeling from the implosion of the
information technology sector followed by the September 11
attacks (on the US)," the President said. She noted that
the terror attack, coupled with political turmoil following
the ouster of President Estrada in January, 2001, greatly
increased the volatility of financial markets," which would
have toppled our economy had we not firmly anchored it to
sound fundamentals." "We stood by our fiscal deficit
target, achieved our inflation and interest rate targets,
restored stability in the peso and realized modest economic
growth despite a very turbulent global environment." "We
have a stable economy," Arroyo said.

While the administration is speaking of economic recovery,
no recovery is being felt by the majority of the Filipino
people. In the year 2001, more than 2,000 companies had
closed down, resulting to increase of unemployment, which
is around 10%. Luckier are those who maintain their jobs.
Even then, the minimum wage in the most advanced part of
the country, in the National Capital Region or Metro
Manila, is only P255 per day, while the real living wage is
P505 per day.

according to National Statistical Coordination Board's
(NSCB) latest report covering the year 1997 to 2000, there
is an increase in the poverty threshold --- the amount
required to satisfy food and non-food basic needs --- the
percentage of poor Filipinos also increased by 1.9 percent
from the 1997 level of 31.8 percent.

Based on the NSCB data, 33.7 percent of about 70 M
Filipinos are considered poor. The number of poor families
reached 5.1 million in 2000, up by 628,414 families or 14
percent higher than in 1997. From 17.9 percent in 1997,
the poverty incident was more evident in the urban area
rose to 19.9 percent in 2000.

The NSCB also said the subsistence incidence or the
proportion of families with per capita income below the
food threshold increased from P7,710 in 1997 to P9,183 in
2000, up by 19 percent during the period.

The Philippines has also a double digit inflation rate.
Medicines are sold here 700 times higher than the prices of
medicines in other countries in Asia, like in India.

The contradiction of the report of President Arroyo and the
realities being felt by the majority of the people could
clearly be explained by the desire of the Arroyo
administration to project a good image so as to win the
2004 national elections. For this purpose, the Malacanang
Palace hired a US-based public relations agency, the
Burson-Marsteller (B-M) firm, for $1 million to enhance her
"global image."

The Burson-Marsteller (B-M) - handled such clients as Union
Carbide to soften the impact of the poisonous gas disaster
in Bhopal, India, where over 300 people died; the
government of Chile during its repressive years; the Three
Mile Island nuclear accident in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania.

Press Secretary Noel Cabrera said: "We want to project a
very good image outside the country. This is very
important not only for our pride and prestige but also for
investments to come in."

So, the economic recovery being propagandized by the Arroyo
administration is not even temporary and unsustainable, but
very far from objective realities.


As the world capitalists crisis continues, and palliative
measures being employed for recovery, class contradictions
will be sharpened. Neo-colonial countries, like the
Philippines will continue to suffer from heavy pressures
being imposed by the world's giant financial businesses to
squeeze profit.

Therefore, international cooperation of communists and
workers parties together with working people is the
paramount call of our time.